“Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are actually yours. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. You are not going in the right direction unless there is something pricking you in the side, telling you, “Look here! This way!” That part of you loves you so much that it doesn’t want you to lose the chance. It will go to extreme measures to wake you up, it will make you suffer greatly if you don’t listen. What else can it do? That is its purpose.” ~ A.H. Almaas
Words have power, and sometimes someone else’s words strikes a chord and moves you, and stirs up emotions within you. It makes you rethink your own reality, change perspectives, and compels you to view things through a different lens.
Let’s dissect the quote and understand the real essence of it –
“Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are actually yours.”
When I read these lines initially, my reaction was, “Really, the current situation I am in is actually my choice. I don’t want it. How can I choose to inflict such problems on my self?” It is human to not want to feel what you are feeling, to want to feel differently, to want to escape it even if it is momentarily and to hope for something better.
“They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself.”
As we read a bit further, the author explains that roadblocks are stepping stones that lead us to our true self. Our true self is buried under layers and layers of grief, trauma, conditioning or experiences that shape us who we are. Under all the muck, lies the real treasure, your pure and authentic self.
On delving deeper on this thought, how can roadblocks lead you to your true self?
“Experience is not what happens to you–it’s how you interpret what happens to you.” ~ Aldous Huxley
Recently, my doctor said when told that I have been very stressed during this pregnancy (third one incoming), his response was, “Nature has designed us in a way that we can deal with stress. The body knows if you were so stressful, you wouldn’t have been able to conceive in the first place.” I heaved a sigh of relief, those were some comforting words.
Humans are designed to handle a certain amount of stress even before they were born. When a child is naturally born, passing through the birth canal of the mother, he/she needs that tension, the pressure, the push before taking his/her first breath.
This whole birthing process itself reflects the adversities of life, and that is why ancient traditions encourage natural birthing as compared to Caesarean, as children born by C-section do need that extra care, extra affection and love because they haven’t experienced that initial struggle to make their way out into this world.
Apart from roadblocks making you stronger, it causes an inner shift, a transformation where you can see what you are made of. It gets you in touch with yourself. As they say, diamonds are created under pressure.
Turn Roadblocks into Pearls
A pearl is made by oysters as a natural defence against an irritant such as a parasite entering their shell. When an irritant works its way into an oyster, it secretes a fluid to coat the irritant to diffuse its power. This fluid is called nacre. Layers and layers of coatings of nacre is produced and deposited on the irritant for years till this deposit begins to reflect a lustre and this initial irritant turns into a lustrous pearl.
Similarly, when irritants (either roadblocks, obstacles, triggers) enter your life, surround it with ‘nacre’ positive energy, thoughts, that will eventually transform into a pearl.
“You are not going in the right direction unless there is something pricking you in the side, telling you, “Look here! This way!” That part of you loves you so much that it doesn’t want you to lose the chance. It will go to extreme measures to wake you up, it will make you suffer greatly if you don’t listen. What else can it do? That is its purpose.”
Sometimes the path is laden with low slung trees with thorns, tall grass, we have to walk on gravel at times, making it difficult to navigate through the forest. These are the ‘extreme measures to wake you up’.
The only way out is through
“He says the best way out is always through.
And I can agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through.” ~ Robert Frost
Just like the birth of a child, the only way out is through, it is our rebirth. But we continue to push forward, and suddenly we see the path has opened up, and we find a lovely water body just ahead of us. The water is still, full of life, and surrounded by pretty colorful flowers. This entire experience becomes sacred as our beautiful soul feels nourished – a reward for making it through such a difficult path.
We have to take the steps to walk through the thorny bush, if we had to retreat and walk back, we will find another treacherous terrain or roadblocks somewhere along the journey, there is no escape. After all, the obstacle is the path, the only way out is through. It is about willing to take the first step to walk through the thorny bushes and finding the flowers on the other side.
Identifying Your Roadblocks and Overcoming Them
Identify your roadblocks, challenges or irritants in your life at this moment. Immerse yourself into this thought, write it down, draw it or paint it – use whatever medium you are comfortable with to express those emotions. To help you in the process, reflect on these questions –
1) Which is the most current and dominant irritant in your life right now, it could be circumstances or a situation or a person?
2) Understand the irritant first and why it is irritating you.
3) If you have to create Nacre for it (the thought process which will diffuse its power) what kind of thought will your Nacre reflect?
I choose to paint the irritant, the nacre to pacify the irritant and the oyster and pearl.
Paint the oyster and pearl every day for 21 days (the time frame required to rewire your subconscious mind), holding the same thought – my irritant, my Nacre and my pearl. You don’t need to be a painter to carry out this exercise, it is simply about tapping into your emotions and focusing on the roadblocks that are holding you back from finding your true self.
You are free to paint your ocean, show the sunset/sunrise, it is upto you. Honestly, I managed to carry this exercise for 4-5 days, then got caught up in some work, and then continued again. It felt very different and a lot better, and you feel the irritant losing its power over you. Remember, this beautiful pearl would never have existed without the initial irritation.
May you find the power to turn your roadblocks into shining gems hidden within the depths of your true self!